Message of the Week

Where Two or Three Are Gathered In My Name, There I Am in the Midst Of Them

The Twenty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

Prayer is not a meaningless exercise.

Jesus promises His presence among us and His awareness of our prayers.

He asks us to be a community of believers who bring our decisions about life to Him.

The authority of the community, the church,  is significant.

Are we connected to that community?

Are our prayers joined with others and offered up in expectant faith?


Readings:  Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Take Up Your Cross and Follow Me

The Twenty- First Sunday in Ordinary Time

If we preach resurrection without the cross, we are acting like Peter in the Gospel.

Peter had just proclaimed that Jesus was the Messiah, but he failed to understand that Jesus’ mission was not to bring wealth and glory to Israel.  Like Satan’s temptations in the desert, he wanted Jesus to take the easy way to glory.

Instead, Jesus challenges us to deny ourselves.  As long as we center our lives on our own pleasure and comfort, we are rejecting the cross.  To deny oneself means to choose God’s will over our own.  It means to be willing to suffer for being honest.  It means giving God the first place in our lives.  It means we get more joy from serving others than from serving ourselves.

That is one reason I like the image of God as Father.  Parents will lose much of their freedom—and much sleep—when they bring a child into the world.  But they find a new joy in the eyes of that child.  We are all called to lose our selfish lives and find the joy of living for Jesus.

Tom Schmidt  – Diocesan Publication

Readings: Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Upon this Rock I Will Build my Church

Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus gave Simon a name based on the word for “rock.” Peter had just acknowledged Jesus to be the Son of God and the Messiah (Christ). Jesus used that as an opportunity to teach us about the importance of faith as the foundation of the church.

There were many variations on what people thought the Messiah would be. Some expected a political leader who would unite the Jews and maybe even overthrow their Roman masters.  Others thought he would be a wonder-worker, a super-hero, who would use his power to make Israel a great and free nation.  Some thought the messiah would provide food and riches in abundance.

In faith, we learn that Jesus has fulfilled all messianic hopes.  He unites not just the Jews, but all people who believe in him. He sets us free from sin and death. He feeds our spiritual hunger with his own Body and Blood in the Eucharist.

By commending Peter’s faith, he shows us that faith is the foundation (rock) of the church. For the church is a family of people who believe all that Jesus taught because we believe in the person of Jesus. That is, we don’t just believe that Jesus was real. We affirm that he is alive and important to our lives. We have experienced him in his words, in the sacraments, and in each other. May our faith always be solid as a rock.

Tom Schmidt

Diocesean Publications

Readings:  Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Great is Your Faith, Let it Be Done Unto You as You Wish

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Much of Jesus’ ministry was the healing of bodies and souls.

He dealt with all He encountered with compassion and mercy.

Even those estranged from Him in some way were included.

The suffering of the entire world throughout history lay at His feet.

His purpose is always to heal, to free, and to save. Are not our needs also before Him?

Ask Him to heal us and to free us.


Reading: Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB


Do Not Be Afraid

The Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Peter had a direct command from Jesus to walk on the water. Yet, Peter doubted.

How many times do we also doubt as we go about our God-given mission in life?

Jesus also strengthens us.
“Take courage it is I; do not be afraid”

Nothing is impossible with God. Our trust in Him is our strength.

Jesus calls us to act in faith.

How is your walk on the water?


This is My Beloved Son with Whom I Am Well Pleased

The Transfiguration of the Lord

The disciples’ lives were never the same because they had been shown without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was the true God.

As His disciples today, the Church helps us unravel this divine appointment by explaining God’s attributes.  God is Infinite: He is not confined by time or space.  God is Unity: He is the one, true God and there is no other.  God is Simple: He is not composed of any physical or metaphysical parts; He simply is.  God is Divine: He is the creator and sustainer of all beings.  God is Eternal: He always was, always is, and always will be.  God is Omnipresent: He is not confined by any temporal limitations; He is everywhere.  God is Immutable: He is incapable of any type of change; Since he is perfection itself, He cannot change. God possesses Divine Knowledge, Intellect, and Will: He knows all things, understands all things, and orchestrates all things according to his divine plan.

After being reminded of Who and What God is, how can we do anything but respond in awe and wonder?  As our second reading admonishes:  We possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable.  You will do well to be attentive to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”  Let us listen to that message today, allow ourselves to be moved by it, and respond in faith to our great and loving God.

Diocesan Publications

Readings: Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord | USCCB


The Kingdom of Heaven…

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Calls us to an awareness of the reign of God in all things.

It is more important to our lives than anything else.  It is like a pearl of great worth.

We are encouraged to pursue what it requires of us no matter what.

God’s reign will bring justice when all things come together in the kingdom.

What are we searching for in our lives?

Is seeking the kingdom foremost in our plans?


Readings: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB


His Enemy Came and Sowed WEEDS All Through the WHEAT.

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today’s Gospel serves as a humbling reminder that God is generous and merciful. He desires us to be united with Him in His Heavenly Kingdom whether we come to His vineyard at 5 years old or 95.  It is not an effort of ours or merit we can earn that grants us God’s love. Rather, He loves without condition and makes His love equally available to all.

When we come to God’s vineyard, He envelops us in His love, which we hear about in today’s Responsorial Psalm.  Every time I hear Psalm 23, I think of myself in preschool.  I don’t have many memories of preschool; in fact, I don’t even remember my teacher’s name or the names of any of my classmates.  What I do remember, however, is being taught Psalm 23.  “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.”  For a long time, I wondered why that Psalm and why at such a young age?  Looking back now, I think I understand.  Our teacher wanted us all to be confident of God’s everlasting love for us.  If we know that love at a young age we can grow up knowing Him and loving Him, and even bring more laborers to His beautiful vineyard.

May we always remember the love of God and may we continue working as laborers in his vineyard.


Readings: Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB


Some Seed Fell on Rich Soil and Produced Fruit

Fifteenth Sunday Ordinary Time

Jesus threw out parables like a farmer sowing seeds.  Some of them fell on the ears of those who would be disciples.  But most fell on the ears of people not ready to understand.  The path, the rocky ground, and the thorns are all metaphors for how his teachings were received. So how do we receive his word?

Do we hear it without understanding, letting it go in one ear and out the other?  Do we hear it joyfully, but then forget it when troubles or difficulties come along?  Do we listen to the word but ignore it in the face of later temptation?

If we want the word to grow strong in us, we can take steps to help ourselves understand it.  We can come to church early and spend a few minutes with the readings before Mass.  After Mass, we can talk about the readings or the homily with our family over breakfast.  We can pick out one practical point to practice that week.

God’s word can be likened to a ball game.  We can sit back and watch, not really involved or caring who wins.  Or we can jump in and participate and make the game ours.  Let us ask God how we can take the word and run with it.

Tom Schmidt. Diocesan


Come to Me all Who Labor and are Heavy Laden, and I Will Give you Rest

Ordinary Time

I’d like you to take a moment and trace the past week of your life. Other than sleeping, did you take any intentional rest?  We just finished the Independence Day holiday here in the United States.  If you live in the US, did you squeeze in every last bit of work in the office before closing your computer for the holiday?  Did you actually sign off from work for the holiday?  Or did you try to multitask, only to find yourself zigging and zagging between sporting events, and reading work emails on your phone during backyard barbecues, without ever actually resting?

If you’ve ever felt more tired after a holiday than before, chances are that today, you feel like a burnt-out sparkler. I have a consolation for you: today’s Gospel reading is especially for you because in it Jesus tells us to rest.

If we rest in Scripture today, we are privileged to hear a sacred conversation.  We hear Jesus resting in prayer with the Father. “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,” Jesus says.  The prayer in verses 25-27 is one of only three places in which Matthew records Jesus’ prayers with God the Father.  The second instance is in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mt 26:39, 42), and the third is Jesus’s last words on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mt 27:46).

After concluding his prayer today, Jesus shares the intimacy of the relationship between Son and Father, with those around him. “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him” (Mt 11:27).

After this statement comes an invitation to rest. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  Commentators note that the rest that Jesus gives is the peace which surpasses all understanding (Phil 4:7). It is also the invitation to discipleship, for we know that following Jesus brings “rest for your souls” (11:29).  Through resting in Jesus, Jesus reveals the Father to us for Jesus opens up the possibility of eternal union with God in heaven.

The first step toward unity with God today is simple: just rest. Spend time with this Gospel passage.  Resist the urge to check your phone and just rest.  Accomplish in prayer what Jesus asks of you today:  “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden” . . . “Take my yoke upon you” . . . “learn from me.” (11:28-29)


Readings: Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Provided by Diocesan.  Reflection Author, Elizabeth Tomlin.    General Counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services.  She blogs at or @elizabethannetomlin. 

Whoever Loses His Life for My Sake Will Find It.

Thirteenth Sunday Ordinary Time

Jesus asks His disciples to have total dedication to following Him.  As an example, He tells us that to be worthy we must love Him more than we love our parents or children.  If we see someone in our family stray from the faith, we try to bring them back by our prayers, example, and encouragement.  Jesus then gives examples of three kinds of disciples.

First are the prophets. These are people who have lived the faith and are able to teach others the wisdom they have learned.

Second, are the righteous, those whose quiet lives teach by example.  Many good parents practice this type of discipleship.  Children may not listen to their parents’ advice, but still grow up with memories of how they lived.

Finally, there are the “little ones.”  These, like children, follow Jesus with great joy and love. They may be elderly or disabled.  When we respect and cherish them, we are able to see Jesus in them.  And anytime we can experience Jesus through another person is a wonderful reward for a disciple.

Tom Schmidt, Diocesan Publications


Fear No One

Twelfth Sunday Ordinary Time

“Fear no one,” Jesus says. He is talking about fearing those who persecute you for your faith.

In the verses before this Gospel passage, he tries to prepare us for that persecution and says that since it was done to him (Jesus), it would be done to his followers.  But he triumphed over his persecutors; they could not stop him.  And that is what he promises us.  We cannot be destroyed as long as we keep that faith.

Now the best way to keep that faith is to give it away.

That sounds like a paradox, but it means that when we spread the faith, our faith grows, too.  And when we allow others to share their faith with us, we are encouraged and supported.

Sometimes we may hesitate to talk about our faith.

That is the only thing to fear: not Satan’s power, but our weakness.

That’s why Jesus said whoever denies him will be denied by him.  Yet Jesus died for our sins, so even they cannot destroy us if we turn back to the Lord.  So thank him for his forgiveness, but don’t forget to spread the news that you are forgiven. You might give someone else the courage to come back to the Lord, and so score another victory for faith over fear.

Tom Schmidt – Diocesan Publications

The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand

The Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus,

“Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town.

Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

As you go, make this proclamation:  The Kingdom of Heaven is a Hand.

Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons.

Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”


Readings: Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Whoever Eats This Bread Will Live Forever

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ Ordinary Time

Jesus’ life was consumed to save the world.

His life brought us eternal life.

He offers us an opportunity to participate in His life and our future together.

He did not leave us an idea, but rather the reality of His becoming part of us, and our becoming part of Him.

The Eucharist is our most intimate connection with our God.

What could possibly be a better offer for our lives and future?


Readings:  Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ | USCCB


Love your Enemies and Pray for Those who Persecute You.

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

By any standard a difficult message.

The wisdom of God is beyond our ability to comprehend.

It is love that heals and keeps us as children of the Father.

Are you ready to walk the road to perfection?


Readings: Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

I Have Come Not to Abolish but to Fulfill the Law

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The commandments are meant to help us survive.

Yet, Jesus set an additional higher standard based on love.

We must be clear in our commitments to what He taught.

Will we say yes?


Readings: Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

You Are the Light of the World

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Do not hide your light.

Let your good deeds give glory to your heavenly Father.

You can be the light and salt that encourages others.


Readings:  Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

The Feast of Our Patron Saint Brigid

Feast Day of Saint Brigid Ordinary Time

“Love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.

The second is like it:
You shall love your
neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”


February 1st is the Feast Day of Saint Brigid of Kildare, Ireland.  (452 – 525)  We celebrate this special day within our Sunday Mass liturgies this year.   The prayers, scriptures, and hymns will be those of the Feast rather than the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time.


Come After Me and I Will Make You Fishers of Men

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus is the light to the nations and one who will initiate God’s coming Kingdom.

He does not speak of a place.

We should think of the kingdom as the reign of God, when His power is fully manifest for ALL to see.

“Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”.

Such is the Good News of Jesus Christ!



This is My Beloved Son, With Whom I Am Well Pleased

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

After being baptized by John, Jesus comes forth to begin His special mission to mankind.

Jesus is confirmed by the Spirit of God as the “designated one.” He is the chosen one to save God’s people.

Jesus made a public presentation of His ministry to portray His humanity and divine mission.

Jesus is real. He is one of us. He comes to us in his humanity. He stands before us and calls to us to come to Him and share in His ministry – to advance the kingdom of God in this world.

Are we, once again, ready to respond?



By Your Perseverance You Will Secure Your Lives.

The Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus warns His followers of coming destruction, chaos, and persecution.

But He also adds that He will guide the faithful through the turbulence.

Faith in Him will save our lives, and it will merit us a place in heaven.

Do you trust completely in the Lord in times of fear and uncertainty?


Readings: Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB


The Son of Man Has Come to SEEK & to SAVE What Was Lost

Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Zacchaeus had a burning desire to know Jesus,  realized the obstacles before him, and went to extremes to eliminate them.

Jesus knew Zacchaeus’s heart and drew Him closer.

Zacchaeus experienced an immediate surrender to Christ.

What do we need to change in our lives to see and overcome our obstacles and deepen our relationship with Christ?


Readings: Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

O God, Be Merciful to Me……A SINNER

The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus wants us to focus on doing what is right, to focus on God.
Pray with a heart of meekness, not with pride or a sense of superiority.
God is not in a game of ranking or positioning.
When He judges us, will we have given Him a life of service and a posture of utter humility?


Readings: Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Your Faith Has Saved You

The Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Give glory to God.

He heals us and is present among us.

Be thankful for all we have been given.

Have faith in Jesus’ message.

Is our faith strong enough to recognize Jesus’ saving action in our lives?


Readings: Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB


We Have Done What We Were Obliged to Do

The Twenty-Seventh Sunday Ordinary Time

Jesus teaches us about the commitment necessary to be His disciples.

Halfhearted attempts will not suffice.

We must put off our priorities and put God’s requirements of us first.

It is so easy to say,  “I will get to it later.”

There are so many important things for us to do.

Have we really done what we are obliged to do?


Readings:  Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB


If They Will Not Listen to Moses and the Prophets, Neither Will They Be Persuaded If Someone Should Rise From the Dead.

The Twenty-Sixth in Ordinary Time

We can easily be lulled into lukewarm complacency regarding our faith.

Our guidance from Jesus is to serve Him and our neighbors.

We may find that our lack of charity results in consequences for our future.

To avoid this great reversal, we must ask ourselves:  “Have I been living the mission I have been given?”

“Am I attuned to the needs of those around me?”

“Am I willing to make the sacrifices necessary to care for others in need?”


Readings:  Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

You Cannot Serve Both God & Mammon

The Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Handle the affairs of temporal life with an eye toward eternal life.

Trustworthiness is an important virtue, in the handling of all things.

Those who can be trusted in small things can also be trusted in great things.

Jesus teaches that His laws must always come first.

Putting anything above Him, but especially wealth will put us in conflict with ourselves.

This, we cannot resolve. Can we resist the temptation to try to “have it all”?



Rejoice Because I Have Found My Lost Sheep

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

There is always an opportunity in life for forgiveness and redemption.

No matter what one has done, Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation is always available for forgiveness.

There is always hope.

When we turn to Jesus, He will run to greet us.

We are truly important to Him and He will not let us down.

Jesus is, indeed, out looking for us, calling to us.

Can you hear Him?


Readings: Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB


Whoever Does Not Carry His Own Cross and Come After Me Cannot Be My Disciple

The Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus gives us strong words to emphasize the high cost of being a disciple.

He uses metaphors to show us that the cost is even greater than loyalty to family and even all of your possessions.

Nothing can be allowed to distract you from the essential reality of Jesus calling you to the conversion of heart and discipleship.

Keep what you are doing in perspective. Love and care for your family and love God above all else.

We are encouraged to weigh carefully the dangers of making the wrong choice about who or what we really want to follow.

How much are we willing to sacrifice to be his disciples?



The One Who Humbles Himself Will Be Exalted.

The Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus teaches us about keeping our self-image properly focused.

Declaring ourselves at a level of importance beyond our real level can lead to problems.

Assuming that we are “better than” someone else may lead to a correction of place by others.

It is especially important that we walk humbly before our God for it is He who positions us in His Kingdom. Treat others as He has willed.

Be especially attentive to those who have less and can only do less. Do we have our priorities straight?